Forget the hype


(Brian Shaw and Hafthor Bjornsson)

It’s hard living in a world where everyone strives to be skinny yet lean, is strong enough to lift a truck and on top of that have shredded abs while eating pizza because it fits your macros. Everyone is giving into the hype; trying to be as lean as a super model and as strong as a bodybuilders. Although this is manageable for some people that have grown up being skinny all their lives and continue to maintain an extremely high metabolism into their adult life, they are genetic freaks- whom I wish I could be- and are not like the rest of us.

If you’re like me and have a hard time of losing weight while trying to keep your strength, then I have a solution. Just be BIG AND STRONG! For most guys, we have tried for many years to be super shredded and have that 6 pack that isn’t made of beer while also being as strong as Arnold. Not *really* possible. How about we be a Brian Shaw or Hafthor Bjornsson. Be the biggest, strongest person you can be. Don’t keep trying to starve yourself or spend loads of money on popular weight-loss programs and supplements. Spend all that money on the food you want to eat and a gym you want to train at.

Before I started lifting I was severely under-eating, just like the majority of those in the fitness world. I felt hungry, fatigued and nostalgic all the time. My lifts never got better and I didn’t really lean out. I was, more or less, a skinny fat person. For all the training I was doing, I wasn’t eating nearly enough to see an increase in preformance. I look back now realizing how much time I wasted focusing on getting lean. For the past 2 months now I have been eating on average 2,600 calories a day. What I have seen in the past two months is that I have now surpassed personal records I set when I was in college, while eating almost a thousand calories more daily and have not seen nearly as much of an increase of weight on the scale as you would imagine.

I’m not saying I’m a big guy at all. I weigh around 200 pounds in the morning. I got sick of constantly trying to lose weight and not being happy or energetic every day. Now, I look forward to being able to wake up, eat and train each day. It’s also nice eating when Im hungry rather than trying to fast the entire morning or plan out super small meals every two hours. I get to eat 1,000 calories from my pre and post workout meals and enjoy nearly 200 grams of carbs from these meals, which is great because I love carbs! So go out and enjoy your food. But also enjoy going to a gym and getting stronger while you do it. As Mark Rippetoe says, “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.” So be a strong, useful and harder to kill person today!


Many individuals like to say that they are simply “too busy” to work out. While life is crazy and hectic I guarantee that every single person on this planet could find a simple 3 hours out of the 168 we get in a week to dedicate to improving their health.

If you’re still saying you don’t have 3 hours, well then, you’re not making yourself and longevity a priority. Sit down and write a list about what is most important in life, and hopefully you will put your health towards the top. Then decide from there that you will make time to train and improve your life.

With these 3 hours you are going to dedicate to improving your life, we need to spend them wisely and make them 3 of the most effective hours of the week. By this I do not mean going to the gym, without a plan, and walking on the treadmill for 10 minutes, heading over to the machines to do a few curls, leg extensions, and then maybe finishing up with some sit-ups. I also do not recommend you spend those three hours going to Zumba or Body Combat just to have a little fun and get sweaty. I want you to spend those three hours training under a barbell and loading more weight onto the bar every time you go to the gym.

No matter what your goal is- gain strength, decrease fat mass, or increase overall health because your doctor has been telling you to workout for years, strength training can help you achieve those goals. What I am asking you to do is not complex by any means. It’s a rather simple plan but is one of the most effective training programs you will ever follow in your life. You lift three days a week and perform 2-3 lifts consisting of squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, and possibly power cleans or chin-ups every session. That’s it. No additional cardio needed.

Some of you out there may not think that lifting three days a week is enough to achieve your goals and that cardio is an absolute must. And I understand your concerns. In my past I was a cardio bunny and prior cross-country runner. I always had the goal of being toned but never had a plan to get there. I first started strength training and didn’t believe that lifting alone would help me lean out so I did hours of cardio in addition to my lifting. With this, I did lean down slightly and put on some muscle mass, but I did not get much stronger or lean out as much as I hoped. Oh, and I was extremely sore. Every. Single. Day. Which is not a good thing. When I finally gave lifting by itself a chance I discovered my true strength and went from squatting around 95lbs for 3 sets of 5 to then 150+ for 3 sets of 5. I did gain about 10lbs over 5 months of lifting BUT I lost 2 inches off my waist. I also got to eat A TON more, which made life a whole lot better. Today I can squat 265lbs for 3 sets of 5 and on average eat 2,100 calories daily. Crazy, huh?

Below you can see my progress from becoming a runner to a strong, happy powerlifter.

Figure 1 September 2013, 135lbs, Squatting 95lbs 5×3, eating 1,200 cals/day
Figure 2 March 2014, 147lbs, Squatting 150lbs 5×3, eating 1,850 cals/day
Figure 3 June 2017, 155lbs, Squatting 265lbs 5×3, eating 2,100+ cals/day


In all, no matter how busy your schedule and goals you are hoping to achieve, dedicate 3 hours a week to increasing your strength. Find time, make a plan, and get strong. Your body will thank you.

Am I a good fit for Valens Strength & Conditioning?

Are you wondering if you are a good fit for Valens Strength & Conditioning? Well, let me ask you this first, do you want to get stronger then you have ever been? Also, while getting strong, become healthier and lose inches off your waist? Our primary purpose is not weight loss but seems to happen when our members follow the nutrition plan and programs our trainer provides them.

We are not going to make you do 100 air squats, dumb bell bicep curls or even yoga. You can do that stuff somewhere else. If you want to come in and do all the movements that science and facts prove to make you strong as hell, then yes, we are the place for you. We are going to make you come in and do the 5 basic movements to help you break your genetic barriers. These movements are the squat, deadlift, bench press, press and power clean. Dumbbell curls and air squats are not going to make you strong, but heavy loaded barbells with the correct technique and weight will.

Getting stronger means you will gain muscle; in return, muscle is heavier than fat. Depending on your body type you will lose weight/fat. However, for some members you will not see a significant weight loss with us. If anything you will see a waist loss. What I mean by that is the way we program is not necessarily to lose weight/fat, but to increase muscle in exchange for fat. For example, Nicole (head trainer) has trained a 220 pound man for six months with a 315 pound squat for reps. By the end of 6 months he did not lose any weight, but lost 4 inches on his waist and improved his squat to over 400 pounds for reps. Again, this does not mean you will not lose weight, but our primary goal is not weight loss but strength gain.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a quick way to get lean, then no, we are not the gym for you. If you are looking for a gym to break your genetic barriers, get strong as hell and you bring that drive to the gym every day – then yes, we are the gym for you and we want to help you. We promise to give you our knowledge and assistance if you promise to come in and give us 100% of what you have, 100% of the time! If you think you are ready for our gym then contact us now.

5 Things to know about the new owners

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1) Both of the owners are from the east coast. Jason was born and raised in Florida and moved out to California about 2 years ago. Nicole was born and raised in Maryland and moved out to California about 6 months ago.

2) Jason’s hobbies include surfing, golfing, any outdoor activity under the California sun and working out. Nicole’s hobbies include beating Jason at foot golf, any outdoor activity, working out and helping individuals achieve their desired health goals. She would also like to open a health & wellness company one day in the future.

3) Nicole double majored in college receiving a degree in Business Management and Exercise Science. While she was in school trying to obtain those degrees, she also received her Starting Strength certification. Jason majored in Finance. As a crossfit enthusiast most of his life, he has recently started strength training and is just beginning his linear progression. Stay tuned for results 😄

4) Nicole’s PRs: Bench 167, Press 127.5, Squat 300, Deadlift 305

Jason’s PRs: Bench 315, Press 176, Squat 385, Deadlift 385, Power clean 253

5) Growing up Nicole ran for the cross-country and track team in high school. She also grew up playing soccer her whole life. It wasn’t until college that Nicole started strength training and it only took two years after that for her to receive her Starting Strength certification. Jason has played many sports including baseball, basketball, soccer, football and golf. Although he enjoyed playing baseball as a kid, he found a new love in golf and was able to get onto his high school golf team.

Now that you know a little bit about us, we would like to get to know you and what training and health goals you might have. Please Contact us to get started!